Wrestling with the tax dragons

Note: Kate is at Starbucks for R&R. This was written by her mean and cranky alter ego.

dragon 2 draconianI hate taxes. Could the government have made it any more complicated? I think not. Who thought up all those “but if’s” anyway? It’s the same people who can’t compromise on…oh…anything!

I do our taxes myself. I am smart enough and too cheap to spend a bunch of money on an accountant. For the most part, it’s not been really bad. That was then. This is now.

I use an on-line service. They can add better than I do. They nudge me for stuff I forget. Normally I would say they are user-friendly. That was until this year. They used to have a wonderful side index where you could click on where you wanted to go. Easy peasy. Now you have to go through several screens to go from 1099-Div to 1099-Int or through a lot of screens to make sure you don’t qualify for some obscure credit. Trust me, I don’t qualify for anything that lessens my taxes.

They also want stupid information that isn’t on the forms sent by the various banks. They kept insisting on a state code (what is that anyway) for one of the entries. There wasn’t any. They weren’t happy and my return is noted that it has an error. That’s too bad!

We don’t have tons of money. That’s what makes it more frustrating. We rolled over some accounts, sold some stocks and bought others. None of it amounts to incredible wealth. (I am still working on winning the lottery. That is our long-term financial plan.)

We changed investment institutions too. Forms are different — not better, just different. I can’t find anything but they say it’s easier.

It took two days to navigate that damn on-line site. On top of it all, I am cranky! I’m actually considering a second Starbucks run to settle me down.

When I was considering careers, anything with numbers did not interest me. Engineering runs in my family and I could be a good problem-solving engineer. I just don’t like the day-to-day number crunching required. My algebra teacher thought I could be a nuclear scientist if only I could add. (Hey, we even wore dowdy clothes then so it wasn’t about THAT!)

My brother got all those wonderful number genes. I got the genes that make me run in circles and yell at people. Those came from my mother. She was a sweetheart but she could have an iron will!

tax receipt and coffeeI’m off to Starbucks to find Happy Kate!

28 thoughts on “Wrestling with the tax dragons

  1. Pingback: The best of taxes (if there is any) | Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

  2. Kate, you and I have a few things in common. I also did not inherit the math genes in my family. My Dad was an engineer, and my brother is an accountant. My Mom also lacked the math genes. I gave up doing my taxes years ago when all I had to worry about was the short form. Now our accountant does it.

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  3. Online did seem to have a less friendly interface this year and none of my stuff would import. So after manually entering all of the stuff….standard deduction with less credits and more penalties than before. I need some Starbucks!! Ugh. At least it’s over for another year. 8)

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    • I haven’t tried importing but I will next year. Some of the forms I received were consolitated year end forms with the tax information hidden in 22 pages of fine print. Maybe it will work better. Definitely more penalties.

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  4. I refuse to get involved with the IRS any more. Like you I used to do our taxes and then I had an epiphany. My life is much better as a result of it. So my advice is: hire an accountant. That’s what they are there for. Then go outside and play. 😉

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  5. I do my own taxes too. I spend the day screaming at the computer, and I AM a numbers person. Ronnie disappears. By the time I’m done, I need a large glass of wine. No, make that a bottle.

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  6. Congrats on getting them done!
    Enjoy that coffee. 😀

    I do our taxes too and, since we’re not due a refund, I’m not in any hurry to get started on them. I ordered the forms I need, but the 1040 form and instructions are on back order. I could print the forms off the website, but I prefer the pre-printed instruction booklet rather than a stack of printed sheets.

    And I refuse to page back and forth through the on line instructions. That makes me buggy. 😯

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  7. I have my taxes done and it costs too much. But I think it is cheaper than what it would cost for the stay in a mental hospital if I did them myself. You have my admiration whether you are happy or not.

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    • I did have my taxes done once a long, long time ago. The guy missed something and I got an additional bill with a penalty. Never again. My taxes were even simpler then. I didn’t own any of those nasty stocks that bugger up taxes. Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. I don’t think I’m smart enough. Fortunately, my husband is, so he takes care of all that and I just gnash my teeth wondering if I could handle it if anything happened to him. I always say, “I want to die first so I don’t have to worry about the taxes.”

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  9. That you even TRY impresses me! We get ours done, and you’re right, it’s expensive. But we end up being so cranky with each other it doesn’t work. We would need a lot of beverage you cannot find at a Starbucks! 🙂 I think there’s something diabolical about our tax code and regulations!

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  10. I gave up doing my own YEARS ago. Not for lack of ability but for want of lower blood pressure.
    Let me know how your search for self goes. If needed I’d be glad to look for you at all my local Starbucks… I’m nice that way. 😉

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